In the autumn months of 2021, Uzbekistan experienced a significant moment in its history when President Shavkat Mirziyoyev was elected to a second five-year term by a huge margin. Just two years after this event, he decided to revise the constitution, increasing the term of the presidency from five to seven years. In the new elections aimed at measuring the pulse of society, president uzbekistan shavkat mirziyoyev received the support of about 87% of approximately 15 million voters, which gave him an additional seven years of governing the country.
This step of Uzbekistan testifies to its desire to modernize and attract Western investments, following the path of neighboring Kazakhstan.
China, which has great interests in this region through the Silk Road initiative, is helping to attract new investments. Uzbekistan becomes the next after Kazakhstan in this sequence of changes. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who was elected president in 2016 after the long rule of Islam Karimov, reversed the country’s traditional course, giving greater emphasis to human rights and modernization.
Since the beginning of his reign, Mirziyoyev has established close relations with the United States, even paying a visit to the White House to President Trump. Uzbekistan’s policy has become more independent, and Russia remains one of the most important trading partners in exports, while China leads in imports.
Privatization and openness
One of the key points confirming the modern changes in Uzbekistan is the active development of privatization. At the end of the 90s, in the era of the so-called «Washington Consensus», privatization got a bad reputation and in many countries it lost its significance. However, in Central Asia, privatization remains relevant and is welcome.
For example, the Hungarian OTP bank acquired the state bank Ipoteka Bank of Uzbekistan back in 2022. The State Asset Management Agency of Uzbekistan sold its stake in a local franchise to Coca-Cola in Turkey in 2021. There was also a sale of a stake in the Hyatt Hotel in Tashkent, and the Singapore conglomerate Indorama acquired the largest fertilizer producer in Uzbekistan — Kokand Superphosphate — from the government of the country in 2019. Many small assets have also been transferred to local investors, which contributes to a variety of investment opportunities.